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Songs

This section of the WhatNotToSing.com database is so dangerous it ought to come with a warning sticker. There are no shortage of ways to misinterpret the Song data we've compiled. For example, if you happen to have toothpaste for brains, and you looked at the table below, you might reason thusly:

"Hmm...'In A Dream', by Badlands. A 94.0 average, that's good. Only been performed once, for 5-stars. Looks like a pretty sweet choice. I'll try it!"

Thankfully, most contestants this dumb can't find the audition site in the first place, and the judges do a decent job of weeding out the ones that do. But beware, the Songs table provides plenty more rope with which to hang yourself. Here, then, are a few bits of friendly advice from the staff.

  • In all seriousness, do avoid songs that have already been showstoppers; the odds are not in your favor. Note how many songs have provided a 5-star performance (sort the Ratings Tab table by the rightmost column), then note how few have done so for two different contestants. It's difficult enough to be compared to a professional recording artist, but when you invite comparisons to previous excellent Idol moments as well, you're really asking for it.
  • Corollary: steer clear of commercial hit songs by a former Idol, unless your goal is to shout to the world, "Hey, look! I can't sing as well as someone you crowned champion a few years ago!"
  • In a similar vein, avoid songs associated with a previous disastrous performance. If your lifelong dream is to sing Crocodile Rock on the Idol stage, get over it.
  • Keep in mind that each song's numerical rating is of the performances of that song, not of the song itself. Always take the singers into account. The "X-Factor" column in the Extended Data tab is a great way to see whether a song has helped or hurt singers in the long run.

Which brings us to this final tidbit of advice. When faced with a choice between a song that has been performed previously on Idol (even if it wasn't a showstopper or a disaster) and a fresh one, all else being equal, go with the fresh one. We've found a clear downward trend on repeat and reprise performances, particularly in the later seasons.

[back to top] American Idol  Songs


Click on a column header to sort by that column.
# Song / Artist Average Rating #Pf Hi Lo σ 0-19 20-39 40-59 60-79 80-100
176
Aint No Sunshine0001Ain't No Sunshine
72.0
 
4 90 46 15.0 0 0 1 1 2
177
Always On My Mind0001Always On My Mind
72.0
 
4 86 60 20.3 0 0 0 3 1
178
Blackbird0001Blackbird
72.0
 
1 72 72 16.0 0 0 0 1 0
179
Cant You See0001Can't You See
72.0
 
1 72 72 20.0 0 0 0 1 0
180
If You Asked Me To0001If You Asked Me To
72.0
 
1 72 72 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
181
No More Tears Enough Is Enough0001No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)
72.0
 
2 81 63 12.0 0 0 0 1 1
182
72.0
 
1 72 72 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
183
Uprising0001Uprising
72.0
 
1 72 72 27.0 0 0 0 1 0
184
Weekend In New England0001Weekend In New England
72.0
 
1 72 72 25.0 0 0 0 1 0
185
While My Guitar Gently Weeps0001While My Guitar Gently Weeps
72.0
 
1 72 72 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
186
You And I0001You And I
72.0
 
2 76 68 20.0 0 0 0 2 0
187
Ready For Love0001Ready For Love
71.5
 
2 75 68 20.5 0 0 0 2 0
188
Respect0001Respect
71.3
 
3 84 62 14.7 0 0 0 2 1
189
Boys Are Back In Town0001Boys Are Back In Town
71.0
 
1 71 71 17.0 0 0 0 1 0
190
Bringing Out The Elvis0001Bringing Out The Elvis
71.0
 
1 71 71 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
191
Broken0001Broken
71.0
 
1 71 71 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
192
Heavy Metal0001Heavy Metal
71.0
 
1 71 71 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
193
Hot Stuff0001Hot Stuff
71.0
 
1 71 71 23.0 0 0 0 1 0
194
I Am Changing0001I Am Changing
71.0
 
2 78 64 19.5 0 0 0 2 0
195
I Want It All0001I Want It All
71.0
 
1 71 71 20.0 0 0 0 1 0
196
Let's Hear It For The Boy0001Let's Hear It For The Boy
71.0
 
1 71 71 17.0 0 0 0 1 0
197
Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting0001Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting
71.0
 
1 71 71 23.0 0 0 0 1 0
198
Superstar0001Superstar
From: Jesus Christ Superstar
71.0
 
1 71 71 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
199
To Make You Feel My Love0001To Make You Feel My Love
71.0
 
2 77 65 17.5 0 0 0 2 0
200
Typical0001Typical
71.0
 
1 71 71 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
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